Microsoft Edge brings back EPUB support, but it's not the same as before

Microsoft Edge on Start menu
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft brings back EPUB support in Edge Canary.
  • The feature lets users open and read EPUB documents directly on Microsoft Edge.
  • It doesn't sport the same experience as the proprietary engine days.

If you've been a long-time Microsoft Edge user, then you're well aware of some of the salient features the browser lost while transitioning from its proprietary engine to Chromium. 

Set Tab Aside and Reading List are among some of these features. And while users have long waited for Microsoft to bring back these features to the new Edge, the company hasn't indicated that they might return. However, EPUB support has surprisingly returned, as spotted by Neowin in the latest release of Microsoft Edge Canary, version 117.0.1989.0.

For those unfamiliar with EPUB support, it's a neat feature that allows users to open and read EPUB documents directly from Microsoft Edge. But compared to the feature's first iteration, the new EPUB support in Edge provides an inferior experience. It has basic functionality for opening and reading books but lacks some of the more powerful features of its predecessor.

Admittedly, Microsoft is still testing this feature with a limited number of users, so the company will likely make more improvements before shipping it to broad availability.

To this end, Microsoft hasn't provided an official statement about the return of EPUB support in its Edge browser, making it hard to tell when the feature will ship to broad availability and what improvements the company will make. 

That said, if you're part of the Edge Canary channel, you should be able to access tables of contents, bookmark pages, and even books directly from the browser.

Microsoft Edge | Free

Microsoft Edge | Free

Microsoft Edge is the default browser on Windows. It's based on Chromium, so it's compatible with the vast majority of the web. There are several Insider versions of the browser, allowing you to test new features and provide feedback to Microsoft.

To access EPUB support in Edge:

  1. Download and install the latest Canary version from the official website.
  2. Next, open the browser and install the latest updates.
  3. Close the browser, right-click on its shortcut and select Properties.
  4. Then, add –enable-features=msEdgeEpubReaderEnabled to the path.
  5. Launch the browser again to enable the feature.

It is worth noting that you can adjust the feature's settings to download EPUB files or alternatively view them directly from Microsoft Edge.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.